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When selling products online, the old adage ‘an image is worth a thousand words’ is certainly true. Nail the photo, and you’re already close to gaining a sale.

However, don’t underestimate the value of the accompanying words. Fail to create a good product description, and you stand a very real risk of losing the customer. Here’s a few more thoughts on the subject.

Why do Words Matter?

Why exactly do you need a decent product description, anyway? After all, the customer can see the photo in all its glory, so why would they want to read about the product too?

There are a number of reasons why your client wants to see written content:

  1. Information. In most cases, customers will want to know more about the product before buying. For example, if you’re selling clothing, they’ll want to know the measurements, the care instructions, the fabric used in the design. If you’re selling printers, your customers will want to know specs and other important technological details.
  1. Benefits. Yes, your product photo shows your item off to the max. But does it highlight all the benefits? For example, does it emphasise that your electric toothbrush removes 99% of all plaque? Does it showcase the fact that your make-up is 100% organic and doesn’t use ingredients tested on animals? Customers are looking for a reason to buy, and often, it’s the product description that gives them that final, all-important justification to make a purchase.
  1. Inspiration. Occasionally, your product description can be used to provide customers with further inspiration. For example, if you’re selling luxury olive oil, you could use your description to highlight what foods it works best with, or even include a short recipe. If you’re selling men’s silk ties, you could mention what shirt colours go well with it. These inspirational tips encourage people to go through to the checkout.

Writing Product Descriptions – What Not to Do

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s surprisingly simple to make mistakes when writing product descriptions. Here’s a few classic errors to avoid.

  • Over-describing. You don’t need an essay to describe your item. Keep it as short, sharp and engaging as possible. Long sentences and paragraphs will only bore your customers.
  • Irrelevant content. Don’t waste your time (and theirs) by including details that don’t matter. Sure, your scarves may be created from a variety of seventeen different silks, and they may well feature 30 bobbles in total, each measuring a centimetre in diameter. But actually, customers don’t really want to know that.  It won’t get you the sale, and it may even serve to frustrate and annoy your readers.
  • Exaggeration. Avoid superlatives. Unless your product really is the best in the world (and you can prove it) keep the hype realistic. If your customers feel like your descriptions are inauthentic, they’ll lose trust in your brand.

Copywriting in Devon

If you’d like some help with your product descriptions, simply get in touch with the Devon Writing Company team by emailing us at